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Coal scam: Swamy pulls up UPA Govt., says more scandals are yet to emerge

New Delhi, Thu, 22 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 22 (ANI): Taking on the UPA Government over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation that reported a loss of Rs 10.67 lakh crores, Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said a few more scandals are yet to come out, and added that the total loss to the nation would be more than the GDP of the country.

Swamy, who is the chief petitioner in the 2G spectrum scam, took potshots at the UPA Government for looting the country.

"There are few more scandals which are yet to come out and the total loss to nation would be more than the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country and it will be roughly about 10 times the foreign exchange reserves that we have," he said.

Meanwhile, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav held the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Coal Minister Shibu Soren and the present Coal Minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, responsible for the scam.

"This is very dangerous. Three people, the Prime Minister, then Shibu Soren and then Sriprakash Jaiswal ran the Coal Ministry during this period. The information I have received over the last few days is that the actual amount is even more than what the CAG has estimated. I will not spare anyone and nail the culprits," he said.

Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, however, said that he was unaware about the report and the scam.

"I do not know anything about it but I have read about it in the newspapers. Sometimes decisions are taken according to the existing policies," said Shinde.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of state-run power company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Arup Roy Chowdhury, said it had made no windfall profits from the allocations and that the lower costs meant cheaper electricity for consumers.

"The coal mine reserves that we have got, we can not have any windfall profit because actual cost is regulated by CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) regime. If we mine coal on a lesser price than Coal India then the consumer will benefit," he said.

The government, however, today said it followed a transparent process in giving mining rights to the firms.

"We gave advertisements for allocation of coal blocks and invited applications...after the applications were received by us (Coal Ministry), the state governments were consulted and thereafter the coal blocks were allocated," said Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.

Jaiswal further said he did not receive any such report from CAG.

"We did not receive any report of CAG then how can we say whether its report is right or not," he said.

Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for some time on Thursday following opposition pressure over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation.

The CAG report titled 'Performance Audit of Coal Block Allocations' has reportedly alleged the government of extending "undue benefits" of nearly Rs. 10.67 lakh crore to commercial entities while allotting 155 coal acreages without auction during the period of 2004-09.

The surfacing of the scam, said to be bigger than the 2G scam, has once again given the opposition an opportunity to corner the government in the ongoing parliament session.

It is reported that the over 100 private companies and public sector units from the power, steel and cement industries have benefited from this allocation. (ANI)

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